Prior research suggests that voluntary environmental governance mechanisms operate to enhance a firm’s environmental legitimacy as opposed to being a driver of proactive environmental performance activities. To understand how these mechanisms contribute to the firm’s environmental legitimacy, we investigate whether environmental corporate governance characteristics are associated with voluntary environmental disclosure. We examine an increasingly important attribute of a firm’s disclosure setting, namely the disclosure of greenhouse gas (GHG) information. GHG information represents proprietary non-financial information about the firm’s exposure to environmental (...) concerns and is related to the firm’s operations and future profitability. Thus, we expect governance participants would view such information as a potentially important strategic device for managing stakeholders’ demands for information concerning environmental risks. We find that the presence of an environmental committee and a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) is positively associated with the likelihood of GHG disclosure and that CSOs are associated with disclosure transparency. Further analysis reveals that the likelihood of disclosure is associated with committee size, number of committee meetings, expertise of committee members and CSO, and overlap between the environmental committee and audit committee. Only expertise of the environmental committee members and the CSO are associated with GHG disclosure transparency, while larger committees tend to be associated with lower transparency. Our results are particularly important to those with interests in evaluating the potential role that corporate governance mechanisms play in responding to stakeholder concerns about environmental risks. Directors and officers who are considering appointment to similar governance positions, may wish to consider what attributes would make such governance positions more influential. (shrink)
The creation of a specialized executive position that oversees sustainability activities represents a distinct shift in the structure of top management teams and their approach for addressing sustainability concerns. However, little is known about these management team members, namely the corporate sustainability officers or CSOs. We examine CSO appointments and their association with subsequent sustainability performance. Our results indicate that the creation of a CSO position may represent more of a symbolic versus substantive governance mechanism. Further tests suggest that CSO (...) expertise and the firm’s existing sustainability performance affect the association between the CSO and post-appointment sustainability performance. We find no association between CSO appointments and subsequent sustainability performance for firms that were already poor performers, while firms possessing relatively higher levels of prior sustainability performance appointing a CSO begin to experience significant improvements to performance after 3 years. We further find that CSOs with prior sustainability expertise are associated with increases in sustainability performance in firms that were already strong performers, but not in firms with poor sustainability performance. Non-expert CSOs, on the other hand, are associated with initial decreases in performance for poor performing firms, whereas better performing firms hiring non-expert CSOs are able to rely on other sustainability attributes of the firm and benefit from improvements in performance in the long term. We discuss the potential importance of these positions as it relates to symbolic versus substantive governance mechanisms through the lens of top management team literature streams. (shrink)
In The Tragedy of the Self, Gary F. Greif attributes social violence and individual isolation to a contemporary neglect of a fundamental human need for support that only human culture and interaction can promote and reinforce. Greif bases this interpretation on the works of Heinz Kohut, a psychoanalyst who by degrees transformed Freud's theory of the instincts into a theory of the self. Kohut maintains that every individual fundamentally requires continual human support in order to live with confidence and (...) hope. Greif introduces Kohut's understanding of the nature, development, and disintegration of the self, analyzes modern and contemporary assumptions regarding the individualistic, anti-social nature of humans, and concludes that contemporary societal assumptions regarding the acceptance of individualism reflect and perpetuate a tragic human condition. Greif argues that the inability of the self to experience a human, fulfilling life is a tragedy intensified by a century of economic and cultural forces promoting social antagonism. A unique and stimulating book, The Tragedy of the Self will appeal to professionals in psychoanalytic psychology, self-psychology, and philosophy as well as academics and students in the Humanities and Social Sciences. (shrink)
This volume critically and constructively discusses philosophical questions which have particular bearing on the formulation of educational aims. The book is divided into three major parts: the first deals with the nature of education, and discusses the various general aims, such as 'mental health', 'socialization' and 'creativity' which have been thought to characterize it; the second section is concerned with the nature of reason and its relationship to feeling, will and action; finally the development of different aspects of reason in (...) an educational context is considered. (shrink)
Rogers & McClelland's (R&M's) précis represents an important effort to address key issues in concepts and categorization, but few of the simulations deliver what is promised. We argue that the models are seriously underconstrained, importantly incomplete, and psychologically implausible; more broadly, R&M dwell too heavily on the apparent successes without comparable concern for limitations already noted in the literature.
Connectionist networks excel at extracting statistical regularities but have trouble extracting higher-order relationships. Clark & Thornton suggest that a solution to this problem might come from Elman, but I argue that the success of Elman's single recurrent network is illusory, and show that it cannot in fact represent abstract relationships that can be generalized to novel instances, undermining Clark & Thornton 's key arguments.
The mere fact that a particular aspect of mind could offer an adaptive advantage is not enough to show that that property was in fact shaped by that adaptive advantage. Although it is possible that the tendency towards positive illusion is an evolved misbelief, it it also possible that positive illusions could be a by-product of a broader, flawed cognitive mechanism that itself was shaped by accidents of evolutionary inertia.
The apparent very close similarity between the learning of the past tense by Adam and the Plunkett and Marchman model is exaggerated by several misleading comparisons--including arbitrary, unexplained changes in how graphs were plotted. The model's development differs from Adam's in three important ways: Children show a U-shaped sequence of development which does not depend on abrupt changes in input; U-shaped development in the simulation occurs only after an abrupt change in training regimen. Children overregularize vowel-change verbs more than no-change (...) verbs; the simulation overregularizes vowel-change verbs less often than no-change verbs. Children, including Adam, overregularize more than they irregularize; the simulation overregularized less than it irregularized. Interestingly, the RM model--widely criticized as being inadequate--does somewhat better, correctly overregularizing vowel-change verbs more often than no-change verbs, and overregularizing more often than it irregularizes. Although Plunkett and Marchman's (1993) state of the art model incorporated hidden layers and back-propagation, used a more realistic phonological coding scheme, and explored a broader range of parameters than Rumelhart and McClelland's model, their results are farther from psychological reality. It is unknown whether any connectionist model can mimic a child's performance without resorting to unrealistic exogenous changes in the training or input, but it is clear that adding a hidden-layer and back-propagation does not ensure a solution. (shrink)
This chapter examines an apparent tension created by recent research on neurological development and genetics on the one hand and cognitive development on the other. It considers what it might mean for intrinsic signals to guide the initial establishment of functional architecture. It argues that an understanding of the mechanisms by which the body develops can inform our understanding of the mechanisms by which the brain develops. It cites the view of developmental neurobiologists Fukuchi-Shimogori and Grove, that the patterning of (...) the part of the brain responsible for our higher functions is coordinated by the same basic mechanisms and signaling protein families used to generate patterning in other embryonic organs. Thus, what's good enough for the body, is good enough for the brain. (shrink)
Central and Eastern Europe, 1944–1993: Detour from the Periphery to the Periphery. By Ivan T. Berend. Cambridge Studies in Modern Economic History, xviii + 414 pp. £45.00 cloth. The Transition in Eastern Europe, vol. 2: Restructuring: A National Bureau of Economic Research Project Report. Edited by Olivier Jean Blanchard, Kenneth A. Froot, and Jeffrey D. Sachs £38.50/$55.25 cloth. Children of Atlantis: Voices from the former Yugoslavia. Edited by Zdenko Lesic. 183 pp. £7.99 paper.
We find the theory of neural reuse to be highly plausible, and suggest that human individual differences provide an additional line of argument in its favor, focusing on the well-replicated finding of in which individual differences are highly correlated across domains. We also suggest that the theory of neural reuse may be an important contributor to the phenomenon of positive manifold itself.